GULF OFFSHORE 2002
Austal USA finds buyer for cat
Due for delivery in July, the new catamaran will be the third vessel delivered by Austal USA within six months. It follows closely the delivery of two crew/supply vessels to Otto Candies LLC in January.
Austal's managing director, Bob McKinnon called the sale "a great result for Austal USA and the Austal group."
"We are very pleased to have finalized the first sale of a passenger catamaran into the United States market," McKinnon said. "The vessel is a strong example of the production capabilities of our U.S. based shipyard and we are confident that the vessel will be a great asset for Lighthouse Fast Ferry."
The passenger catamaran will operate at a service speed of 27 knots, with the capacity to transport 189 seated passengers on the 60 minute journey between Keyport, N.J. and Manhattan, with weekend charters including the very popular Yankee Stadium package.
The large increase in demand for the New Jersey route has been attributed to the closure of the PATH train World Trade Center service, as a result of the tragic events of September 11 last year. In honor of the death of Lighthouse Fast Ferry Vice President Tony Colasanti's son during last years World Trade Center attacks, the vessel will be named the Christopher Colasanti.
Designed by Austal Ships to meet USCG Subchapter K regulations (46 CFR), this catamaran also features bow loading, a kiosk for snacks and drinks (especially popular in the morning and evening commuter runs) and seats from Beurteaux of Australia.
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compatible features such as a ramp entry over the bow, 36 inch aisles and ADA rest room are also featured.
In other projects, Austal USA continues with the construction of a 34 meter dinner cruise vessel for Island Queen Cruises of Miami, Florida. Due for delivery in November 2002, the dinner cruise catamaran will operate in the Miami and Biscayne Bay area, offering a variety of charter options appealing to corporate and large private groups.